Network Communications News (NCN) September 2016 - Page 17

Tris Simmons of Netgear Q&A Geared for success This month NCN talks to Netgear’s director of product marketing Tris Simmons and gets his thoughts on network resilience, the IoT, wireless connectivity and more. What industry sectors are Netgear focused on right now? The breadth of the Netgear portfolio means we cover all manner of verticals with different horizontal technologies. Netgear appeals to consumers, right through to small and mid-sized organisations, as well as global service providers through our three business units of consumer, commercial and service providers. How did you get involved in the IT infrastructure industry? I started working with mobile phones when I joined the Ericsson graduate trainee programme back in 1995, back when adoption forecasts were for two million mobile phones in the UK by 2000, which clearly got thrashed. From there I continued to develop a taste for technology that has seen me move across to UNIX/NT computing, through to satellite Internet, VoIP platforms, broadband, switching and wireless technologies. What industry trends do you expect to see emerge over the next few years? IoT will be developed by the large enterprise space and enabled by the SMB and consumer markets as it ripples through the supply chain. Opportunity to hook up sensors that connect to the Internet will grow and a more integrated society will arise. For example, more and more application types are climbing on the IP network than ever before, from voice to data, video, surveillance cameras, through to the rapid rise of access points servicing Wi-Fi connectivity needs. Door controllers powered by PoE are already in use as well and in time wider adoption of lighting systems powered and managed over the IP switched network will also arise. What are the differences between unmanaged, fully managed and smart managed switches? Innovation has changed the traditional line-up. I can identify eight different switch categories in our own portfolio, with each one offering a step up to a better network experience. Ultimately, the differences really boil down to two types of switches, managed and unmanaged. Unmanaged is a pure plug and play, with zero management interaction at all. The second type is a managed platform that supports configuration to set up multiple parameters either through an intuitive web GUI or a command line interface (CLI) to hard code your network. Across both types you will then have a choice of different form factors, levels of management, security, and access privileges. Sometimes you see reference to web and smart managed, which will leave you wondering what the difference really is. They both use a web GUI as the primary interface, but a smart switch will bring more security settings, bigger table sizes, automated VLANs (not manual) and static routing, which appeals to medium sized business where more granular network control is needed. 17 17-18 Q&A – Netgear.indd 17 26/08/2016 14:55